Well it’s official. My third book “You, Me, and Everything In Between” by L.E. Hastings is hot off the press. Now available at Barnes & Noble.com and Amazon.com. Thanks to all the folks that help make this dream come true. I’ll keep you all informed when there is a book signing. ‘Til then, please feel free to order one – or two. Hell, make it ten…lol..
The Last Son
A while ago I was sitting down by my mom’s side.
She was bedridden due to a sickness she had had for many years.
Not a bad night.
No rain, no heat, just a day.
Well it was night and she was dying.
My father and my partner were out for a break and it was my turn to watch over my mom.
Watch, like she was some kind of child or something.
My mom was very with it that night while I was there.
We talked and talked.
About everything and nothing really, just talked.
When I was a child.
When she was one.
She had no regrets, she told me.
She didn’t want any anyway.
Life is too short she told me.
“Mom, can I get you anything?”
I asked, as I got up from my chair.
“Yes, please. Some water would be nice,” she had said.
Looking down at my mom I thought.
“What a strong person she is.”
Dad said early that she didn’t know who he was or where she was this afternoon.
Sitting back down in the chair beside her with her water in my hand I asked.
“Mom, do you know who I am?”
“Of course! You’re my son,” she said.
“I have two.” She added.
“Your brother was my first and you were my last.”
We must have talked for hours it seemed.
She told me how proud she was of me.
But that she was proud to have me sober and in recovery.
That the last four and a half years she had her son back in her life.
She told me that she had prayed for me every day that I was out there using.
“Don’t use this as a reason to go out and start drinking again.” She said to me that night.
“Not to go out.” I thought.
God, if there was ever one this would be it.
“No, mom, I won’t.” I said.
She took a couple of sips from the glass I was holding up to her lips.
“God, please be with my mom.” I thought.
My mom used to say that life was like a giant book with all the stories already written down.
Stories of those who came before.
Stories that are being read right now and still many stories yet to come.
“You know?” She said to me.
“Going to heaven is the biggest classroom of them all.
All our questions will be answered that you asked in life.”
As she looked up at me with eyes so clear.
“I’m going to school tomorrow.” She said.
“Mom, is there anything else I can get you?” I asked.
“Yes, give me a hug.” She said.
So I did.
I sat with her ‘til my father and partner came home.
I told them what she had said about tomorrow.
Dad said she’s been like that all day with him.
We decided to stay home from work that next day to be with her.
10:43 a.m. my mom had some breakfast.
At 11:30 a.m. she said to us that she loved us.
“What’s the weather outside?” She wanted to know.
“It’s a great day, Ma.” Dad told her.
“A great day to be alive.”
11:48 a.m. my mother died with us holding her hands.
“Now she knows.” I thought.
I was the last son she talked to.
The last son to hold her hand.
For the rest of us, all we can do is turn the page.
From the beginning to the end,
she was always with me.
I can’t think of a better gift to give my mom,
then being there at that moment,
from her Last Son….
I thought I knew
Long ago before I even came into the halls of recovery
I thought that my life was somewhat okay.
Way before I had that first drink.
There were times that I did know some things.
I knew how to do the simple things.
Like eat, get dressed and even tie my own shoes.
But most of these I had to learn.
Being shown by my parents or my older brother.
As I grew a little bit older, I started doing these things on my own.
But there were other things that I slowly started to pick up.
Like the habit of lying.
Playing one parent against one another.
The fine art of getting what I wanted, when I wanted.
All these behaviors that I thought were very individual, just to me.
Time passed – I found alcohol – that should’ve been the end of the story.
But it wasn’t.
Just the beginning of more things that I would pick up along the way of my using.
More time passed – I had had enough.
Enough of living in the way that I was.
The lying, cheating and manipulating people to get what I needed.
It just didn’t work anymore.
Coming into a program of recovery and still holding on to some, if not most of my
so-called individual habits.
Being mad that it was over.
Feeling relief in hearing that I was not alone.
Learning that I didn’t know – but that I could learn.
Going from the, “Ya buts.” To the, “I know.” Back to, “Ya but if.”
To later saying, “ I didn’t know.”
Hearing that there was hope.
Learning a new way of living and being willing to change.
Picking up new things to help me stay sober and happy.
To clean house.
A higher power.
How not to drink one day at time and being okay with me today.
Laughing at myself.
Time passed some more – Today, right now. I can look back in light of this and laugh at the things I would say to my sponsor like,
“If you only knew?”
My sponsor would look at me and shake his head,
‘til I’d stop and say,
“I thought I knew…”